What’s happening July 14th in Uzes?
I set out with my camera to see how the French celebrate in this small village.
It’s all about family, food, dancing and fireworks. This year, it was also about brocante.
A hundred or more brocante dealers showed off their best wares in the town’s parking lot — a beautiful spot overlooking the valley.
Cafes in town were packed with visitors, couples and families eating, drinking and enjoying their long weekend holiday.
All waiting for the music and dancing …
Here are some interesting facts about the July 14th French holiday:
1- French don’t call the holiday “Bastille Day”?
It’s called “July 14th”, just like “July 4th” in the States. The formal name is La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration).
2- “Storming the Bastille” was not all about freeing political prisoners.
Rebels freed four crooks and two “lunatics” and, according to Wikipedia, one “deviant” aristocrat. The Bastille was chosen as the target of the rebellion because it was a symbol of the abusive monarchy — a place stocked with weapons and ammunition.
3- The French Revolution was not the beginning of an independent French republic.
The French Revolution of 1787 is considered by historians as a major step towards establishing the concept of “independent republics.” The world saw the uprising of the people of France as an example to create their own political change;
The French, however, were anything but “independent” afterwards. They enduring years of terror led by Roperpeare’s government; and later, a military empire led by Napolean. It was the Third Republic in 1870 that gave way to national elections and political parties in France.
Charles de Gaulle founded the French Fifth Republic and served as its first president from 1959 to 1969.